Lana Del Rey talks changing attitudes towards domestic violence and female freedom in music

Lana Del Rey celebrated female expression in music and changing attitudes towards domestic violence in her Ivor Novellos acceptance speech this week.

The singer was speaking from the stage of the Ivor Novello Awards in London on May 23, where she picked up the Special International Award.

She took the chance to address how perceptions of artists like her have changed since she emerged in the early 2010s.

“When I started, I think a lot of things were written about how the songs were sort of naval-gazing just about my experience with challenging relationships,” she said.

Lana Del Rey with the Special International Award during The Ivors 2024 at Grosvenor House on May 23, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Lana Del Rey with the Special International Award during The Ivors 2024 at Grosvenor House on May 23, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

“Now, what we’ve seen is that those songs were not written about a small microcosm of people and women; we’re seeing an acute amount of things written about difficult relationships. Even when COVID began, the second epidemic in the United States was interpersonal relationship violence – it increased by 300 per cent.

“I think it’s amazing that female singer-songwriters have the freedom to write about absolutely whatever they want,” she continued. “It was always kind of nerve-wracking to think that writing about relationships would be seen as something self-gratuitous or feigning vulnerability. It’s a very vulnerable thing – not just for women, but for men.”


At the same ceremony, Del Rey also revealed she had once wrote a song for a James Bond film’, only to have it turned down by the franchise’s producers. The track – ‘24’ – eventually ended up on her fourth album ‘Honeymoon’, but had been written with the Bond film Spectre in mind.

Lana also spoke to NME at the Ivor Novellos this week. After having just announced her first ever stadium show – and after a packed 12 months that saw her headline Coachella and London’s Hyde Park off the back of her critically-acclaimed ninth album ‘Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd’ – NME asked her if she now felt vindicated against her detractors.

“No, maybe three years ago there would have been a sense of vindication, but now it just feels playful. I don’t know why,” she replied. “If you hang in long enough, it just feels easy. There’s no vindication, no nothing – I’m just kind of happy to be here.  It’s easy-going in that way.”


She also spoke about her upcoming country-inspired album ‘Lasso’, which she announced in January and is currently schedule for a September release.

Speaking about embracing the country sound, she said: “Oh geez, what can I say now? When I gave Jack Antonoff his award for Best Producer Of The Year [at the 2024 Grammys], I said, ‘Welcome Nashville to Hollywood and Hollywood, welcome to Nashville because the music business has gone, gone country. And it went silent; 5000 people, dead silent. Then the next week, we had three major artists announce big country albums.

“So where’s ‘Lasso’ going? I really have no idea now!”

Lana is set to be one of the headliners at Reading & Leeds 2024, alongside Liam GallagherBlink-182Fred Again..Gerry Cinnamon and Catfish & The Bottlemen.

The festivals take place from August 21-25 and tickets are on sale now for both locations; purchase here (for Reading) and here (for Leeds).


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